Dixon's Horse Race Track Proposal a Gamble
The City of Dixon is considering a proposal to build a horse race track. Commentator Caitlin O'Halloran believes it's a gamble at best.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
As home to a few remaining plots of undeveloped farmland on the I-80 corridor, Dixon is a bullseye on the map for corporations who want to pave their way to big money. It started with the fast food places – mega-corporations offering low paying jobs and a side of fries seduced the city council with promises of big revenues. No sooner was the gateway to Dixon replete with burger joints, when the city added a Wal-Mart. So now we have more low-wage jobs and easy parking. The latest proposal has come from Magna Corporation. They want to build a horse racetrack and promise it will compliment Dixon's "rich agricultural heritage." Not likely. You see, the racetrack comes in two phases. Phase one includes horses, jockeys and more low wage jobs. For good measure they'll even throw in a big adult dormitory for all those workers who don't earn enough to live in town. Phase two: casino, conference center and mall shopping. I'm having a hard time making the rich agricultural heritage connection here. I'm not, however, having a hard time connecting the proposed racetrack to traffic congestion, increased crime and quite a bit of horse manure. Dixon residents were instrumental in convincing the county that mega-dairies could be an environmental mess. Seems we're pretty picky about the kind of manure we're willing to put up with. Must be fancier if it comes from horses. Before Dixon saddles up with Magna, city officials should slow down and put this proposal on the local ballot. I'll wager that a racetrack isn't a good bet for Dixon.